Newport World Resorts Operator “Interested” in Acquiring PAGCOR-run Casinos
- Travellers International is considering buying some of PAGCOR’s casinos
- PAGCOR’s boss earlier announced plans to sell its network of casinos in the Philippines
- COO of Newport World Resorts is confident the privatization will be realized under the current admin
The operator of Newport World Resorts (formerly Resorts World Manila), the first integrated resort in the Philippines, has expressed interest in acquiring some of the casinos owned by the country’s main gaming regulator, the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp (PAGCOR).
Travellers International Could Buy Some of PAGCOR’s Casinos
Hakan Dagtas, Chief Operating Officer of Newport World Resorts, said they’re waiting for PAGCOR to release further details about its plan to sell its casino properties across the country. They will make a decision once detailed information is available, but the group is “interested”, Dagtas stated.
Newport World Resorts is owned and operated by Travellers International Hotel Group Inc., a multi-awarded integrated resort and luxury hotels developer based in Pasay City. Travellers International is a subsidiary of investment holding company Alliance Global Group Inc.
PAGCOR Chairman and CEO Alejandro Tengco announced in March that the agency would let go of its network of casinos to focus on its regulatory duties. The planned privatization of state-owned casinos would raise around PHP80 billion (US$1.47 billion), according to Tengco.
PAGCOR currently operates over 40 casinos and satellite casinos throughout the Philippines under the Casino Filipino brand. It is the only regulatory agency in the world that also operates casinos. Tengco aims to complete the casino privatization during his tenure which will end in 2028.
Dagtas said they need to know first the key details of the plan, including what’s for sale, the corresponding price, and the processes involved in the buy-out. The Newport World Resorts COO ruled out the possibility of the group acquiring the entire Casino Filipino portfolio, saying they are only considering buying certain properties.
Casino Privatization Highly Likely Under Tengco’s Term
Dagtas said the privatization of state-owned casinos has always been on the government’s agenda but never materialized. He is optimistic it will finally happen under Tengco’s watch and with Ferdinand Marcos Jr. as President.
Travellers International has been rumored to be a potential bidder for PAGCOR’s casinos, with analysts from Maybank Securities saying the firm is planning to set up small casino-hotels in tourism estates.
Premium Leisure Corp also earlier expressed its interest in acquiring the state-owned casinos, with the company’s president and CEO stating in April that they will consider the terms and conditions of the privatization if the government proceeds with the plan.
Premium Leisure is an investor in City of Dreams Manila, a casino resort operated by a unit of Melco Resorts and Entertainment.